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Understanding Diabetes in Cats: Causes Symptoms and Treatment

Understanding Diabetes Mellitus in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

As a cat owner, it’s important to watch for any signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a condition caused by insufficient insulin production in the pancreas, leading to high blood glucose levels.

When left untreated, this chronic disease can lead to coma and even death. However, with proper care and attention, cats with diabetes can lead long, fulfilling lives.

In this article, we will cover the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of diabetes with coma in cats. Part 1: Causes and Symptoms

Diabetes mellitus can affect cats of all breeds and ages, but it is more commonly seen in older, overweight cats.

Certain conditions like pancreatitis or obesity can increase the likelihood of a cat developing diabetes. When insulin production is low, glucose cannot enter the body’s cells to provide energy.

As a result, the glucose accumulates in the bloodstream, leading to hyperglycemia. The symptoms of diabetes with coma in cats are persistent and noticeable.

Increased thirst, urination, and appetite are all common signs of diabetes. Cats may also experience an odd gait or plantigrade stance and decreased energy.

Other symptoms include weight loss, vomiting, and decreased appetite. These symptoms may worsen as the disease progresses, leading to coma in severe cases.

Diabetes with coma can be caused by several factors, including hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), too little insulin given, extra meals or treats, changes in diet or amount fed, decreased appetite, vomiting, and increased activity. The remission of diabetes can also lead to coma in cats, as the cat may no longer require insulin and can become hyperglycemic if it is not discontinued.

Part 2: Diagnosis and Treatment

Early diagnosis of diabetes is important in preventing the progression of the disease. If you suspect your cat has diabetes or is experiencing any symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian right away.

Your vet will use a variety of tests to diagnose diabetes in your cat, including a blood test to measure blood sugar level, a urinalysis to check for glucose and ketones in the urine, and a complete blood count and blood chemistry panel. Additionally, your vet may check for urinary tract infections and kidney damage, common complications of diabetes.

Hospitalization is required for cats with diabetes with coma. Treatments include breathing support, intravenous fluids, insulin administration, and dextrose.

Your veterinarian will work to stabilize your cat’s blood glucose levels and treat any underlying diseases. Once stable, your veterinarian may send your cat home with you, or suggest a follow-up visit to monitor your cat’s recovery.

Part 3: Recovery and Management

After your cat has been treated for diabetes with coma, they will require lifelong therapy and management. Your veterinarian may prescribe insulin injections to regulate your cat’s blood glucose levels.

It is crucial to watch for symptoms of diabetes, like increased thirst and appetite, and contact your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior. Your cat’s diet and exercise routine may also need to be adjusted to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

A cat with diabetes should have regular check-ups and blood work to monitor the disease’s progress. In some cases, diabetic cats may go into remission, meaning they no longer require insulin therapy.

However, it’s important to monitor your cat’s progress and maintain their care to prevent the disease’s recurrence. Prognosis for cats with diabetes up to four weeks after diagnosis is good as long as owners follow the prescribed treatment plan.

After the initial hospitalization period and stabilizing the blood glucose levels, cats have a good chance of recovery. Nevertheless, diabetes is a lifelong disease, and owners should be committed to their cat’s long-term care and management.


In conclusion, diabetes mellitus is a serious and chronic disease that requires monitoring and regular care to manage effectively. Recognizing the symptoms and contacting your veterinarian right away is the first step in diagnosing and treating diabetes with coma in cats.

Proper management and treatment of diabetes with coma can improve a cat’s health and extend their life expectancy. If you suspect your cat has diabetes or is experiencing any symptoms, consult your veterinarian immediately to start treatment and ensure that your cat receives the best care.

Part 1: Prevention of Diabetes with Coma in Cats

As a cat owner, preventing diabetes with coma is essential to ensuring your cat’s overall health. The primary goal of prevention is to maintain healthy blood glucose levels by balancing diet, exercise, and medication.

Higher-protein, lower-carbohydrate diets are a recommended approach for cats at risk of developing diabetes, but always consult your veterinarian first. Your veterinarian can help you select the appropriate diet and ensure your cat receives sufficient nutrition.

Avoiding diet changes is also essential in preventing diabetes with coma. Consistency in meal times and no treats outside of feeding times can help regulate your cat’s blood glucose levels and prevent excessive spikes and crashes.

You should also test your cat’s blood glucose levels regularly and follow up with your veterinarian for guidance on how often to do so. Regular veterinary exams are necessary to maintain your cat’s overall health.

Ideally, schedule routine check-ups and blood work every six months or as recommended by your veterinarian. Early diagnosis of diabetes can be the key to preventing coma and other severe complications.

Part 2: Symptoms and Signs of an Impending Diabetic Coma

If your cat experiences hyperglycemia elevated blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia low blood sugar levels it’s essential to take prompt action to avoid a diabetic coma. Hyperglycemia can be due to not enough insulin, illness or infection, changes in diet or exercise, or incorrect insulin dosing.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia include frequent urination, increased thirst, lethargy, poor appetite, and dehydration. On the other hand, hypoglycemia can be due to a missed meal, too much insulin, or increased activity.

Symptoms may include weakness, trembling, loss of balance, panting or heavy breathing, seizures, and lethargy. Monitoring changes in your cat’s behavior, activity, diet, urinary habits, and response to insulin is vital to preventing a diabetic coma.

Keeping a vigilant eye on your cat’s behavior can help you detect any subtle changes and take appropriate action before the situation escalates. Note any new or noticeable changes you observe and discuss them with your veterinarian.

Part 3: Remission and Lifelong Therapy

Diabetes remission is the return to healthy blood glucose levels without medication. However, a cure for diabetes in cats remains undetermined, and remission can vary by individual cats.

Diabetic cats not yet in a coma can go into remission with early and aggressive care. Remember that not all cats may go into remission, but it is possible to prolong the remission period with healthy management.

Lifelong therapy, including medication or insulin injections, is necessary for cats diagnosed with diabetes. Remission is possible, but continued monitoring, a high protein diet, and veterinary consultation are essential for successful management of diabetic cats.

Along with medication, monitoring a cat’s blood glucose levels, dietary management, regular examinations, and awareness of any changes is crucial for cats with diabetes with coma. Changes in behavior, appetite or energy levels, and uncontrolled urination can indicate the need for medication adjustments or vet visits.

Part 4: FAQs about Diabetes with Coma in Cats

Q: What happens when a cat is in a coma? A: When a cat is in a coma, they will become unresponsive.

Shallow breathing or a lack of breathing may indicate an emergency, and immediate medical treatment is required. Q: What are the signs of dying in a diabetic cat?

A: A dying diabetic cat may experience loss of control of urine or stool, shallow breathing, low body temperature, foaming from the mouth or nose, and seizure-like activity. Its crucial to contact your veterinarian or emergency veterinary services immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.

Q: How can a cat recover from a diabetic coma? A: Recovery from a diabetic coma in cats depends on early therapy and aggressive care.

Underlying hypoglycemia can also impact recovery. Treatment may include breathing support, intravenous fluids, insulin therapy, and blood sugar monitoring.


Prevention, early diagnosis, and prompt treatment are critical components of managing diabetes with coma in cats. Consistent care, monitoring of your cat’s blood glucose levels, a high protein diet, and routine veterinary exams and consultation can help prevent health complications and promote a better quality of life for your feline friend.

Don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior, appetite, or urinary habits early intervention can make a significant difference in preventing a severe health crisis. In summary, diabetes mellitus is a serious and chronic disease that affects cats of all ages and breeds.

Prevention, early diagnosis, and prompt treatment are all critical components of managing diabetes with coma in cats. It is crucial to maintain healthy blood glucose levels through diet, exercise, and medication, monitor any changes in your cat’s behavior or appetite, and regularly consult your veterinarian to ensure proper care.

With proper management and support, cats with diabetes can lead long, healthy lives. Remember to remain vigilant and report any signs or symptoms of diabetes to your veterinarian right away.

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